Debt Is a Biblical New Year’s Resolution

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Couple on CouchBut Wait! Before you grab your keys and wallet, nearly trampling the children in your rush for the mall with, ”Joy To The World” on your lips…there is only one debt that is Biblical for us to owe: our debt of love. What if this New Year, instead of increasing the debt we are instructed not to continue to owe, we resolved to pay toward the one we are called to owe? Your New Year’s resolution this year could truly set you free.

As I was writing this I wondered how New Year’s resolutions even began, and discovered that the earliest New Year’s celebrations dated back to the 19th century BC Babylonian culture. These celebrations included promises by the people to their gods that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. This made me wonder how it was that this culture was committed to pay a lesser debt to a non-existing god, while we owe a legitimate debt to The Living God. Are we paying it?

As I look back over the old year, I see plenty of opportunities for me to increase my payments toward the debt that I truly owe.  Paul tells us in Romans 13: 8 that we owe a debt of love, which the NIV renders accurately by stating it as a continuing debt. This debt, unlike other debt, is one we will never satisfy! If that seems overwhelming, hang on till you get to the final verse of the chapter because this lack of satisfaction is where the freedom is at. Verse 14 tells us that this debt keeps us free from the denigration of sin. “Clothe yourselves with Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Think about it, if we keep ourselves so busy paying toward our debt of love to those around us, what opportunity would we have to be sinning?

Join me in choosing one relationship in your immediate family that you know needs some “shoring up.” This New Year let’s make a renewed effort to actively seek out this person and initiate real connection. Date times with your mate, Steak and Shake with a teen, or playing a board game with an elementary child. Singles and teens could take time to seek some fun with a younger sibling, or set some time aside to tell a parent more about what’s on your mind.

If you are struggling with a tough relationship this New Year, don’t give up! Don’t let walls build shutting you off from a loved one. Continue to act in love, expecting nothing in return, trusting our Lord to bring life through the sacrifice of love. This is a New Year’s resolution that can truly set you, and others, free.

Chris Clevenger

Comments or questions are welcome.

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